April 10, 2018 3:01:57 am
The Income Tax department for Karnataka and Goa region has sought from Karnataka government details of large payments made to contractors in the last quarter of the 2017-18 financial year, stating that information received by the department suggests that some of these funds could be “used for election purposes’’.
Director general of income tax (investigation) for the region, B R Balakrishnan, in an April 6 letter to Karnataka chief secretary Ratna Prabha, has sought data regarding tender payments released by the state government in the last quarter of 2017-18 fiscal year. “Intelligence received by us indicates several big payments have been made to contractors of some of the departments in the state government of Karnataka during the last quarter of the financial year 2017-18 which are meant to be used for election purposes,’’ states the letter.
Reacting to the letter, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has said I-T department officials are being “oversmart’’. Investigation wing of the I-T department has sought details of payments of more than Rs 25 lakh released to contractors by departments of animal husbandary and fisheries, revenue, energy, public works and water resources from January 1, 2018 to March 31, 2018 along with details of tax deductions. The department has also sought details of payments to contractors during the 2016-17 financial year.
Following the letter from the I-T department’s office, the chief secretary has written to various departments to furnish the information sought by April 10. The state Congress government has been at loggerheads with the investigation wing of Karnataka and Goa directorate of the I-T department over the past couple of years, with the ruling party accusing the BJP of using the department to target its leaders.
I-T commissioner for the region Rajnish Kumar last month said the Congress’s allegations were politically motivated.
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